California Autos Examiner

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Mazda Zoom Zooming Away From Ford With Powertrain Position

Speaking in Sydney, Australia recently, Mazda Chief Hisakazu Imaki admitted that his company does not see eye to eye with its partner Ford when it comes to powertrains. "Yes, it's true we are heading in a different direction [to Ford]," Mr Imaki said, "but we do work together on some things." Mr. Imaki questioned the run-up in energy prices, stating "Oil won't run out in my lifetime. Soaring petrol prices are not due to demand but financial speculation. America is the country most affected by petroleum prices." According to the article, Mazda won't be developing any plug-in hybrids of its own but will instead focus on improving the fuel efficiency of its gasoline motors. Mazda has stated previously that it wants to cut fuel consumption of its vehicles by 30 percent by 2015. The company is also working on hydrogen powered vehicles, but like everybody else these vehicles would only be offered in very limited numbers.

Does Mazda have it right? With oil prices beginning to cool and gasoline falling back under the $4 threshold for many drivers, one has to wonder how much of this energy hangover Americans are going to remember next year. Certainly the shock waves of $100+ oil are going to ripple through our economy for some time to come and I believe we'll see staples continue to rise in price as producers finally pass on cost increases. For many folks, that will mean less driving or swapping out gas guzzlers for more thrifty steeds. However, my co-worker was back in his Suburban today and when I asked him why he said "Stocks are up and oil is down" and then he sped away on his solo commute home. How many other folks are following that same logic?

Still a future for petrol-driven vehicles: Mazda chief - National News - National - General - The Canberra Times

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